DRAGONS prop Josh Kerr is desperate to end an "embarrassing' run of finals outs, but he says the club won't put years of underachieving behind it with "empty words."
The irony of stating that position isn't lost on the 24-year-old, but it's the mindset he's brought back to preseason with the Dragons after enjoying the "best month of my life" as part of Wayne Bennett's 'worst ever' Queensland side.
He didn't make it onto to park in the Maroons series victory, but the 24-year-old is determined to bring the winning feeling back to clubland, but he knows such promises will be hollow until he and his side put it onto the park.
"I'm not a big fan of saying what I'm going to do, I'd rather just do it," Kerr said.
"I don't want to fall back into that trap of saying 'I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that' I've got to just get out there and do it. As you've seen from the last few years, we've always been saying 'look how good our team is, look how well we're training' but we just never produce.
"That's the sort of thing we need to change, we need to actually start doing it instead of talking about it. How many years, honestly, have we said we've got all these Origin players and how great we are... and we can't make the eight. It gets embarrassing, I'm sick of being a part of that. We've just got to go get it done."
While 2020 was another dismal year for the club, it was a breakout one for Kerr, who featured in all 20 games, earning a three-year contract extension and a place in Wayne Bennett's Origin squad.
It also earned him an extended offseason break before reporting for duty in Wollongong, but he's already seen a notable shift in mindset under new coach Anthony Griffin.
"Some people don't like change but, to be fair, we obviously needed a change," Kerr said.
"We weren't getting the results we needed a kick up the backside and a bit of a clean-out. It's exciting because it's a refresh of everything and it's all been so incredibly positive. Preseason's preseason but everyone's just loving rocking up.
"For me personally it's looking a lot better this year than some previous years. We've had a lot of experience walk out the door but look at Penrith and how young their side was and how well they did. We can do it, we just need to get tight together and do it."
Kerr's discussions with Griffin have thus far been limited, but they've gone at least some way toward his new put up or shut up mentality.
"A big [change] for me and my game, particularly last year, was my confidence going into games," Kerr said.
"I'm a larger body, physically I can overpower a lot of blokes, [the challenge] was more confidence in my head going against all these great guys I grew up watching. As the year went on I grew in confidence and started playing better footy.
"That's the sort of thing I want to take into next year. I had a bit of a yarn to [Griffin] at the end of last season and went over a bit of what he was looking for from me this year. He wanted me to put on a bit of weight and mature as a bit of a young leader.
"I want to do all that, but they're just empty words at the moment. I just want to get out there and prove it with my actions."